“Real-time” may be among the most-used jargons in the tech industry today, but it does still cause some amount of confusion among the general public. In layman’s term, real-time may be understood as literally referring to the actual time during which a process or an event takes place. A television broadcast can be described as covering actual events “in real time,” for example, if it is a live broadcast of the occasion or event in question. In computing, the idea is the same in that the term “real-time” is used to describe computer systems that process data immediately as they receive them. Typically, the updates take place within such a short span of time that the responsiveness is perceived by users as instantaneous.
Real-time data replication: Happening almost in real time
Building on this description, real-time data replication can then be defined as a process in which data are instantaneously copied from one location to another at almost the same time that such data are generated. The source and target locations from and to which the data are copied can also be more than just one. In short, data replication is a means to keep data between two or more databases in sync. Most real-time data replication solutions today do this best by identifying and tracking data changes that have been made to the source database system.
But while real-time data replication may be perceived as a process that takes place in a direct and immediate manner, it’s not uncommon for such a process to experience time delay known as data latency. The fact that latency can occur in different time intervals like sub-seconds, seconds, or sometimes even in minutes also means that even real-time data replication should be seen as a relative term in computing.
Real-time data replication: A boon to thousands of data-dependent organizations
The next question that most people ask about real-time data replication after learning what exactly it’s all about is this: what good does it do? Who exactly can take advantage of the ostensible powers of real-time data replication, and how can they do so? The simple answer is this: many organizations—businesses and institutions of all sizes and from various industries—can benefit from real-time data replication.
Just take for example the airline and travel industries, which rely on dependable flight planning solutions to be able to ensure safety and efficiency in their operations. Such a solution can only work if it can perform real-time data updates to a central repository, a process that enables the whole system to replicate and track the flight data of numerous airliners and aircrafts around the world.
Another example of practical and necessary use of real-time data replication is its application in the financial services sector. It is through this process that the delivery to clients of up-to-the-minute bank account, stock, and other financial information is made possible, which means banks and other financial institutions are able to run like clockwork, meeting the demands and needs of their customers.
As a final example, also consider the large fleets of vehicles and machines being maintained by the logistics industry across the world. Real-time data replication is the technology that enables logistics providers to perform seeming works of magic like parcel tracking and fleet location detection, which, in turn, allow industry players to minimize the impact of emerging challenges like traffic congestion, personnel shortage, and reduced shipping capacities.
In today’s data-driven world, the number of organizations that benefit from real-time data replication is only expected to grow. The question now is whether or not your company or institution is prepared and willing to ride this wave of innovation, or if you are content on just remaining on the sidelines and being overshadowed by more agile competitors.